TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida's black state legislators on Wednesday abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting with Gov. Rick Scott, saying that "nothing'' would come from the one-hour session.
But on the eve of this year's meeting, the group concluded that the talk would be "fruitless'' because Scott has not responded to previous complaints from lawmakers.
"We decided this was not going to be the best use of our time and that at the end of the day nothing would come out of it,'' said Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee.
Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Scott, said the governor was "disappointed'' that the caucus voted to cancel the meeting. But Scott still kept open an hour on his schedule in case anyone wanted to still meet with him.
Williams contended the decision was not related to Scott's attempt to win re-election.
"This is not a matter of disrespecting the office of the governor or being against him politically,'' Williams said.
Scott found out about the snub personally when he ran into Williams on Wednesday morning while walking through the Capitol.
"Gov. Scott believes the best way to serve Floridians is for the Legislature and the governor's office to work together to find solutions,'' Schutz said.
Some of the items that legislators have questioned Scott about include judicial appointments and whether he is willing to appoint black judges as well as his decision to support a proposal to make it harder for convicted felons to win back voting rights.
Scott previously told black legislators that he appoints judges whose philosophy reflect his own.
The governor came under fire from black legislators in his first meeting back in 2011, after he told them that he "grew up in the same situation'' as they did because he spent time in public housing.